PUBLIC CONTRACT AWARD BODIES IN CAMEROON

PUBLIC CONTRACT AWARD BODIES IN CAMEROON

Czech legislation concerning public procurement defines public contract thus:

Public contract’ shall be a contract for pecuniary interest concluded between the contracting entity and one or more economic operators, having as its subject-matter supply of products or the provision of services or the execution of public works.

The public contract which the contracting entity shall be obligated to award under this Act shall be carried out on the basis of a contract in writing.

Article 5(aa) of Decree N0. 2018/366 of June 2018 to Institute the Public Contracts Code of Cameroon (hereafter referred to as Public Contract Code) defines a public contract as:

“the written document concluded in accordance with the provisions of this Code by which a contractor, supplier or service provider enters into an agreement with the State, a regional or local authority or a public establishment to carry out work or to supply goods or services against payment”.

PUBLIC CONTRACT AWARD BODIES

Public contract award bodies as per the Public Contract Code include: Project Owners and delegated project owners, Internal public contracts administrative management entities and tenders.

Project Owners

Article 5(z) of the Public Contract Code defines a project owner as “Minister or person ranking as such, chief executive of a regional or local authority, general manager and manager of a public establishment, representing the beneficiary of the services provided for in the contract”.

From the above provision, it can be deciphered that a project owner is a natural person. This is confirmed in article 6 of the Public Contract Code which provides that:

“The preparation of the procedure and award of a public contract shall be incumbent on the Project Owner, who shall be a natural person heading a ministry or similar entity, a regional and local authority, or a public establishment benefitting from the services provided for in the contract”.

However, article 6(2) of the Public Contract Code introduces an artificial person in the definition of a project owner. It states: “a private law corporate body receiving financial support or financial guarantee derived from public resources shall also be considered as a project owner….”.

The function of the Project Owner includes the preparation of the procedure and award of a public contract. In this light, he/she is responsible for:

carrying out preliminary studies and, in conjunction with the relevant government services, ensuring the maturity of projects to be included in the budget;

preparing the draft contract award and execution plan; providing funds; preparing tender documents; publishing invitations to tender; awarding contracts; signing and notifying contracts;

terminating public contracts and submission of periodic contract award and execution reports to the Ministry in charge of public contracts and to the public contract regulatory body.

Delegated Project Owner

Delegated project owner as per article 5(m) of the Public Contract Code defines  delegated project owner as: “person acting as representative of the Project Owner and performing some of the duties of the latter.

They include Regional Governors, Senior Divisional Officers and Heads of Cameroon’s diplomatic missions abroad, empowered to conclude and, where applicable, the manager of a project benefitting from external funding”.

It is important to point out that a Delegated Project Owner may be a person governed by public or private law operating in his name and on his behalf and only acts upon being entrusted or delegated functions by the Project Owner.

The delegated functions of the Delegated Project Owner includes a definition of the administrative and technical conditions under which the relevant project will be implemented; receipt of bids;

organization and conduct of the contract award procedure up to the signing thereof; management of contracts awarded in the name and on behalf of the Project Owner; payment of allottees; project acceptance and implementation of all actions related to the above-mentioned duties.

Internal Public Contracts Administrative Management Entities

According to article 8(1) of the Public Contract Code, internal public contracts administrative management entities are established under Project Owners and Delegated Project Owners to provide assistance in the discharge of their duties, particularly during: project maturation, the preparation and monitoring of contract award plans;

the preparation of draft tender documents in conjunction with the technical services of the Project Owner or the Delegated Project Owner concerned; receipt of bids; the finalization of draft contracts and contract amendments for approval;

the preparation of project introductory notes; the filing of documents; the transmission of documents produced during the award and execution of public contracts; the drafting of quarterly and half-yearly and annual contract award and execution reports.

Note should be taken of the fact that a separate instrument regulates the functioning of the internal public contract administrative management entities.

Tenders Board

Going by article 9 of the Public Contract Code, tenders boards are technical support bodies set up under Project Owners, Delegated Project Owners, Regional Governors and Senior Divisional Officers for the award of public contracts worth at least 5000 000 (five million) CFA francs.

In this light they: examine and give a technical opinion on draft tender files and requests for quotation prepared by Project Owners or Delegated Project Owners; examine and, where necessary, adopt rating grids before the opening of bids;

open bids; set up bid evaluation sub-committees; prepare, where necessary documents to be submitted to Central contracts Control Boards for consideration; make contract award proposals to Project Owners or Delegated Project Owners and examine and give a technical opinion on draft contracts awarded by mutual agreement

Composition of the Tenders Boards

There are three types of tender boards to wit: internal Tenders Board placed under project owners, Regional Tenders Boards placed under Regional Governors for contracts to be financed with votes delegated to divisions and for the contracts of regional and local authorities without tenders boards.

These tender boards are established by the authority in charge of public contracts.

Internal Tenders Boards

Pursuant to article 11 of the Public Contract Code, the tenders boards is composed of the Internal Tenders Boards placed under Project Owners.

It is  composed as follows:  For Project Owners placed under ministries and similar entities:        

– a chairperson appointed by the Authority in charge of public contracts;

– a representative of the Project Owner concerned;

 – a representative of the Ministry in charge of public contracts;

– a representative of the Ministry in charge of public investments;

 – a representative of the Ministry of Finance;

 – a secretary appointed by the Project Owner from among the staff of the internal contracts administrative management entity.

(b) For Project Owners placed under public establishments of local and regional authorities:

 – a chairperson appointed by the Authority in charge of public contracts;

– a representative of the Project Owner concerned;

– a representative of the Ministry in charge of public contracts;

– a representative of the technical supervisory ministry;

 – a representative of the Ministry of Finance;

 – a secretary appointed by the Project Owner from among the staff of the internal contracts administrative management entity.

Regional Tenders Boars

Going by article 12(1) of the Public Contract Code, the  Regional Tenders Boards is composed as follows:

– a chairperson appointed by the Authority in charge of public contracts, on the proposal of the Regional Governor;

 – a representative of the Ministry in charge of public contracts;

– a representative of the Ministry in charge of finance;

 – a representative of the Ministry in charge of public investments;

– a secretary appointed by the Regional Governor.

Divisional Tenders Boards

Article 13(1) of the Public Contract Code provides that the Divisional Tenders Boards is composed of:

– a chairperson appointed by the Authority in charge of public contracts, on the proposal of the Senior Divisional Officer;

 – a representative of the Ministry in charge of public contracts;

– a representative of the Ministry in charge of finance;

 – a representative of the Ministry in charge of public investments;

– a secretary appointed by the Senior Divisional Officer.

Functioning of Tenders Boards

The functions of the tenders boards are enshrined in article 17 of the Public Contract Code. Article 17(1) provides that a tenders board may validly deliberate only in the presence of its chairperson, at least 2 (two) members, the secretary and the independent observer, where necessary.

 – Where the independent observer does not respond to a convening letter duly sent within the prescribed time, the tenders board may validly deliberate.

 – Tenders board resolutions shall be taken by a simple majority of members present. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.

 –  No quorum shall be required where a tenders board meets to open bids. However, at this stage, the presence of the Board Chairperson and Secretary shall be mandatory.

 – The file shall be presented to the tenders board by a representative of the Project Owner or the Delegated Project Owner with a good knowledge of the project.

 – During consideration of the bid evaluation report, the file shall be presented by the Chairperson of the Bid Evaluation Sub-committee or a member of the said subcommittee duly authorized by the Chairperson.

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Kelvin
Kelvin
2 months ago

Thanks for this incredible writeup

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